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Shaq Lawson shoulder surgery to occur before 2016 regular season

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The Bills drafted Lawson with knowledge of the injury, downplaying its significance in the days after making the pick

The Buffalo Bills announced on Monday that rookie defensive end Shaq Lawson, the team's first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, will have shoulder surgery prior to the 2016 regular season.

No timeline has been established for Lawson's recovery from the surgery. The team said in its statement (embedded below, via Andy Young of Time Warner Cable News) that Lawson could have continued to play through the re-aggravated injury, but that the team now believes it is in Lawson's best interest to have the surgery now.

In the immediate aftermath of the Bills making Lawson the No. 19 overall pick late last month, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Lawson would require a shoulder surgery, which would likely take place after the 2016 season - and which could require 4-6 months of recovery time. It's unclear if Lawson is having that precise procedure, with that timeline, but clearly the need for a procedure accelerated, despite the Bills downplaying the significance of the injury two-plus weeks ago.

We'll have more on this story if and when more information becomes available.